Buchanan struggles as Phillies fall to Braves 7-4
ATLANTA (AP) — David Buchanan’s homecoming didn’t go as planned.
Pitching in front of family and friends from the Atlanta area, the 25-year-old rookie lasted only four innings as the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves 7-4 on Wednesday.
Buchanan, who is from Peachtree City, Georgia, and played for Georgia State, gave up four runs — one earned — three hits and four walks in his first big league game at Atlanta.
“It was definitely exciting, throwing at home,” Buchanan said. “Growing up here, this is where all my friends are. I was pretty upset I couldn’t give a better performance than that.”
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said the right-hander just had a bad day.
“This is the first one where he just wasn’t as sharp and he was pitching behind in the count a little bit,” Sandberg said. “But I’d say overall he’s actually pitched fairly deep for us, and he’s had quality starts. This is the first one everything wasn’t there for him.”
Grady Sizemore hit a two-run homer in the third that tied the score 3-3, and Ben Revere had three hits for his fourth straight multihit game.
Rookie Christian Bethancourt had three hits in his return to the major leagues and B.J. Upton hit a two-run homer for Atlanta as the Braves avoided a three-game sweep.
Upton’s homer off Buchanan came on a 0-2 pitch.
“I was trying to elevate up and in,” Buchanan said. “I overthrew it, left it in the middle of the plate. That’s what happens at this level. Can’t miss your spots.”
Philadelphia won the first two games with shutouts, including a no-hitter by Cole Hamels and three relievers Monday.
Atlanta ended a 25-inning scoreless streak by scoring three runs in the second.
After Chase Utley’s first-inning sacrifice fly, the Braves took a 3-1 lead in the second behind Upton’s 10th homer and first since Aug. 8.
The Braves had scored one run in their previous 36 innings. All three runs were unearned because of an error by Utley, who allowed Ryan Doumit’s leadoff grounder to bounce off his glove for an error.
Bethancourt, a catcher recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday following a six-week demotion, drove in the Braves’ first run with an infield single in the second and put Atlanta ahead 5-4 with an RBI single in the fifth.
“That was a big step,” Bethancourt said. “We were able to score a lot of runs after two shutouts in a row. That’s a good step for the team.”
Ervin Santana (14-7) won despite allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched around a leadoff walk to Cesar Hernandez in the ninth for his major league-leading 42nd save in 46 chances.
Freddie Freeman led off the fifth with a double off Mario Hollands (2-2). Freeman initially was ruled out stretching at second on left fielder Domonic Brown’s throw to Utley, but Jordan Baker’s call was reversed on video review. Bethancourt then singled against Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who gave up two runs in one inning in his major league debut.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Sizemore made the defensive play of the game by racing toward the right-field foul line for a diving catch of pinch-hitter Gattis’ fly ball in the eighth.
WALK THIS WAY
The Phillies gave up nine walks, matching their season high for a nine-inning game. Each of five Philadelphia pitchers issued at least one walk.
Philadelphia: Hollands left with what was announced as left elbow soreness. Sandberg said Holland had tightness in his left forearm and may return to Philadelphia to have the arm examined.
Atlanta: LF Justin Upton was held out with a bruised left upper arm sustained when hit by a pitch Tuesday. He had treatment and took some swings before the game and the injury is not believed to be serious.
Philadelphia: The Phillies are off Thursday before RHP Jerome Williams starts Friday night’s series opener at Washington. The Phillies swept three games from the Nationals in Philadelphia last week.
Atlanta: The Braves also are off Thursday. RHP Aaron Harang faces RHP Jarred Cosart on Friday night at Miami. Cosart and the Marlins shut out Harang and the Braves 4-0 Saturday.